Ascension report outlines commitment to advancing maternal health

April 2024



St. Louis-based Ascension has published a report that provides an in-depth look at the health system’s role in delivering care to newborns and their mothers and at the social determinants of health that often lead to disparities in care.

The report is titled “1 in 50: Ascension’s Maternal Health Report,” a nod toward Ascension’s delivery of one of every 50 babies born in the United States. The system’s birthing units nationwide have delivered between 72,000 and 78,000 infants every year for the past five years, which represents about 2% of the 3.6 million babies born in the U.S. every year.

The report notes that in 2023 about 41.5% of Ascension’s maternal patients had Medicaid coverage and 1.65% were self-pay. It also says Ascension’s maternal health outcomes “strongly outperform” national averages. The system’s maternal mortality rates for 2021 were 21% lower than nationwide rates for all patients and 41% lower for Black/African American patients.

Ascension points to key maternal health initiatives. This includes its Postpartum Nudge Program that addresses the link between hypertension, heart issues and maternal mortality; a social determinants of health screening tool; and food-related initiatives such as a program that delivers fresh foods and meals to women who identify as food insecure. It makes the food deliveries for eight weeks postpartum.


Copyright © 2024 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States

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